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I had my Raceline Performance bike stolen over Chrsitmas :( - which was in actual fact a blessing in disguise :p as it caused so much discomfort that I had not ridden it in 2 years!

Having just returned from completing the Great NZ bike ride (on a hire bike) I'm all geared up to replace my Raceline. After many hours of research, and numerous test rides I have narrowed it down to 2 choices: the Avanti Blade Comp (1) and the Giant Perigee (2) - based on bikes that are upright, comfortable, lightweight, versatile, but still speedy.

Unfortunately my bike store (already paid by my insurance company) stocks neither of these bikes, and apparently cannot get them in until May.

My conundrum is this - I can easily hold out until May as I plan to be OS for the next 4 months anyway, or I can take the bike store's advice and buy either the Norco Napoli, the Marin Lucas Valley (up-graded to Tiagra components), or the Merida Speeder T3.

Unfortunately I have heard mixed things about each of these bikes, and now don't know what to think :confused: .

Does anyone out there have a working knowledge of any or each of these bikes who might be in a position to provide some comprehensive, unbiased advice?
 

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I recently bought a Giant Perigee.

I'm very happy with it - it too was an insurance upgrade - from a lesser model the Giant Cypress.

I tried a couple of bikes with drop handlebars in the shop, and just didn't like them, especially the fiddly gear changes they offered.

The straight handlebars are a lot easier for me. I like the gears too. The set they've put on this bike change from one gear to another without any fuss.

I like the way the pedals can be used with normal shoes OR cycling shoes. As a novice to using cycling shoes I found this very useful. I now use cycling shoes 90% of the time.

The bike is fast. If you wanted to go any faster, better gears and a lighter bike wouldn't do the trick ... you'd need to buy a bike with a racing position.

This isn't a 'touring' bike, so if you're looking for something to enjoy regular 3 hour bike rides on, then you might want something with different handlebar positions.

I don't know much about the Avanti bike you mentioned. I guess if its a similar price, and specification, the choice is down to looks.

Buy the bike you want to. Try to have a ride on it first. Go over some grass and some pavement kerbs to see how it feels.. And.. try to get a good price from the shop (don't be suckered into paying full price because they had to order it specially) - maybe get a quote from somewhere else so you can bargain a bit easier.
 
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